I was delighted to learn today from Kay Young that her husband, Don, was chosen as the winner of the Celebrate Your Neighbor competition, out of a large field of nominees submitted to the St. Louis Metropolitan Area Suburban Journals newspaper.
Congratulations, Don! You deserve this recognition for all your efforts to discourage youth smoking.
Celebrate Your Neighbor: Congrats to the winners
Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:52 AM CDT
Today you’ll see the winner and finalists in our contest — but today you’ll see them in your own words.
We asked you to tell us about the individuals who make the places we live better. From the huge pool of nominees, we narrowed the field to three finalists and let you pick the winner through online voting.
So thank you for helping us Celebrate Your Neighbor, and see some good news and good deeds, and maybe a familiar face, in the newspaper.
And congratulations to all our good neighbors — the winners and all the nominees. And thanks to all the people who took time to share their good neighbors with the rest of us.
Don Young, of St. Charles – Grand-prize winner, $500
Nominated by Peg Lee, who wrote:
“I would like to nominate my friend, Don Young, for the Celebrate Your Neighbor recognition.
In 1992, at the age of 48, Don was diagnosed with throat cancer. His larynx was removed and he was told he had less than one year to live.
He has undergone many surgeries and treatments, and he is currently cancer free and leads an active life.
Don has taken a negative situation in his life and turned it into a very positive opportunity to tell others about the hazards of smoking. Many have seen his presentations, which show all that he has been through and the effects smoking can have on one’s body. Many have given up smoking as a result of Don’s story.
He currently represents a nonprofit organization named Young Choices Inc. and has dedicated his life to helping others realize the hazards of smoking.
Don also visits patients in hospitals in the St. Louis area and helps cancer victims understand that there is hope and that they, too, can lead productive lives, even with cancer.
Almost daily, Don and his wife, Kay, are traveling somewhere in the area to visit people or attend meetings with others who are advocating for a smoke-free society.
Don has actively participated in Senior Olympics and has many medals to show for his successes. He carried the 2002 Olympic torch as it passed through St. Louis.
When speaking with Don, he will always tell you that God has brought him through this and given him the strength to do all of the things that he has accomplished. He is truly a walking miracle and I would like to see him receive the Celebrate Your Neighbor recognition. He is an asset to our community and to our state.“